Amid persistent doubts about the validity of the 2020 election results, former President Donald Trump and his supporters will surely feel a sense of vindication from the news that Georgia judge has ruled that absentee ballots cast in Fulton County can be unsealed and examined for potential fraud, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed late last year by a group of Georgia electors led by the co-founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia. Members of that group claimed in affidavits that “counterfeit ballots” in the county were “counted and recounted” by officials on Election Night, as NBC News reported.
Superior Court Judge Brian Amero issued a one-page ruling which provides that “Petitioners shall only be permitted to inspect and scan said ballots in accordance with protocols and practices that will be set forth by further order of the Court” and that the ballots themselves will remain in the custody of local election officials, as the Washington Examiner noted.
The decision met with approval from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who drew the ire of Trump following the election for not pursuing voter fraud clams for more vigorously. Raffensperger said he is pleased that another review is in the offing, saying:
From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues. Fulton County has a long-standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement.
GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a frequent critic of Raffensperger who has even called for his investigation, also heralded the outcome, saying, “Voter confidence in our election system is the bedrock of our republic. Unfortunately, inconsistencies in Fulton County’s November 2020 absentee ballots cast serious doubt on voters’ faith in our elections.”
Loeffler continued, “While there is a dire need to investigate a number of other well-documented issues, we must also inspect Fulton County’s absentee ballots to reassure Georgians that their voices are heard and their votes are counted.”
Though the outcome of the absentee ballot review cannot reverse the long ago-certified election results, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit believe the examination is a necessary step in probing what they believe was suspicious handling of the vote tallying process, particularly at a large tabulation site in Atlanta last November, as the Journal-Constitution noted.
A statement from Loeffler echoed those concerns, saying, “The biggest example of an inconsistency is the issue with State Farm Arena in Fulton County, where poll watchers were told by election officials that counting had stopped for the night, only for surveillance video to reveal it resumed in the overnight hours.”
While the results of the presidential election stand essentially no chance of being overturned either in Georgia or anywhere else, it is crucial for any fraud that helped Joe Biden ascend to the Oval Office to be ferreted out completely and prevented from ever happening again.